Someday, everyone will pour their own milk…

My redheads are 18 months apart. We found out Levi was on the way when Hunter was only 10 months old. It isn’t the same as having twins but we had two babies. Twice the diapers, a double stroller, countless sippy cups, two precious people, dependent on us for everything. The years when they were tiny felt like endlessly fast days lived in a slow blur. It was hard, and messy, and exhausting, and totally worth it.

Now they are both driving themselves to school, talking about college, and getting ready to leave our nest. We blinked. It happened just that fast, in a blink of an eye. But it happened slowly too, diaper by diaper, dinner by dinner, day by day by day.

In the midst of one of the long stretches of days, I walked into the kitchen and both boys had a bowl of cereal. With milk. In the bowl. They had poured their OWN MILK. No spills, no tragedy, no fanfare. They were so casual about it, so nonchalant.

I could have missed the magic that morning, had I not been paying attention. But I was paying attention, I was watching in the midst of the up-all-nights, scraped knees, kool-aid stains, teeth brushing, and bath times. I was watching because someone told me to watch. A friend with littles ahead of mine by a couple of years said it would get easier, in a throw away comment she mentioned that, “one day they will both pour their own milk.” I think I called her a liar with my mouth, but I began to hope in my heart.

And then it happened. The universe shifted just a little that day as we all gained a little independence! It was a day to celebrate!

In the midst of the celebration, I learned such a valuable lesson…you can’t celebrate what you don’t notice. Since then, I have used our “milk moment” to plant celebrations for so many others along the way.

  • I see a mom in the grocery store, wrangling a basketful of babies, I tell her…
  • Friends in the weeds of parenting toddlers, I let them know…
  • Dad of four covering for mom on a girls trip, some day soon…

I PLANT the celebration, like a little seed, full of hope, waiting to be watered by countless glasses of spilled milk, till one day…


I was reminded of this when reviewing Marzano’s High Reliability Framework, as celebration is embedded throughout Level I. If we are truly going to create safe, collaborative classrooms, teams, schools, departments, and organizations we will have to celebrate the “un-spilt milk”, which means we will have to be looking for it!

Leading Indicator 1.7: The success of the whole school, as well as individuals within the school, is appropriately acknowledged.

What do we need to notice as a community? What could be easily overlooked, unintentionally missed if we aren’t paying attention?

Plant the celebration: Let people know what is coming! Students are going to succeed here! You’re collaborative team is going to reach your SMART goal! We are going to make a difference for students TOGETHER! Watch for it. Wait for it! Work for it! Water it with failure and restarts and lessons learned. No one learns how to pour milk on the first day, but one day, I promise, EVERYONE POURS THEIR OWN MILK!


Still Learning,